Writing Meditation: How to Use Writing as a Meditation Technique

By Carly Forsaith, updated on September 20, 2022

Meditation has been a widespread practice for millennia and has many benefits for the mind and soul. But have you ever heard of writing meditation?

In this article, we’ll discuss a less well-known practice that provides an alternative for those who wish to try meditation but who perhaps struggle with calming their mind with traditional meditative practices.

Writing meditation is one form of meditation that differs somewhat from the traditional way of sitting down and focusing one’s thoughts on our breath. Let’s dive into this practice and find out more about it.

What Are Writing Meditations?

As we have discussed, traditional meditation focuses on our breathing or on an object of our choosing.

With writing meditation, you guessed it; the focus is on writing. The idea is to write freely, without overthinking, for a set amount of time. What you write doesn’t need to make sense or follow any sort of logical order. It doesn’t need to be free of grammar or spelling errors. It doesn’t need to be ‘good’. In fact, it doesn’t need to be anything. And that’s the beauty of it. 

No one will ever read what you write during your writing meditations (unless you want them to), so this completely removes the need for it to meet a certain standard. 

So no, you do not need to be a good writer to do this!

The topic can be different every day, or you can do this without using a topic at all. Writing prompts can be helpful to get you started on days when you can’t seem to put pen to paper. 

How to do Writing Meditation

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to do a writing meditation. Remember, though, that like with traditional meditation, there are many ways to do a writing meditation, and most importantly, there is no way you can do it wrong! So take the following suggestions lightly and adjust where you need to.

  • Step 1: Why not start with some breathing to ground you and bring your mind to a resting place? Take a few deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth, and focus on the sensation of the air traveling through your body.
  • Step 2: Grab a pen and paper, or open up a word processor on your laptop/tablet. There are also many apps you can use.
  • Step 3: Set a timer or decide on the number of words you want to reach.
  • Step 4: Start writing. Don’t stop until you reach the amount you decided on or until the timer goes off. Don’t stop to think about what you’re writing, have written, or want to write. Just write. Don’t edit or reread. Most of all, don’t try to write something ‘good’.

That’s it! There you have it. Piece of cake, right? 

As with traditional meditation, there’s no way to do it wrong. In fact, the only way to do it wrong is to berate yourself for doing it wrong.

The process described above is known as ‘stream of consciousness’ writing. This means there’s no prompt or direction in your writing. You’re just writing what goes through your mind. 

You could also use prompts, which are handy if you’ve got writer’s block. Prompts give you a topic to write about, so they help you get started. Only that beginning part is different, though. The rest of the process is the same. See below for some writing prompt ideas.

Should You Write by Hand or Type?

With writing meditation, you have two choices: you could either write on a piece of paper with a pen or you could type on your computer, your tablet, or your phone. So which one should you opt for? 

There are advantages to both.

Typing, of course, is faster. It will therefore allow you to more easily get all your thoughts out onto the paper (screen) before your mind wanders and you forget what you were about to write. For ‘stream of consciousness’ writing, this can be very beneficial. It will help ensure you get all your thoughts out on paper before you get distracted or your hand starts hurting.

However, there are clear advantages to good old handwriting:

  • Writing things by hand helps us commit them to memory. Something about the process of writing.
  • Technology comes with many distractions: social media, emails, and browsing. Avoid them all by popping your contraptions on silent mode and writing on a piece of paper.
  • We’re more creative when we write by hand. It has to do with our arm movements.
  • Writing by hand requires staying focused for longer. Our brain works much faster than our hands, which has advantages as this means that we won’t get distracted as we try to keep up with our stream of consciousness.
  • Handwriting enhances the benefits of meditation. Since it tends to be a much slower process than typing, it forces us to slow down, be in the present moment, and be patient.

So, if you’re one of those people who hasn’t had a pen in their hand since their school days, it’s time to head to the store and get stocked up on stationery! 

Why Pair Writing With Your Meditation

Now that you’ve learned about the benefits of traditional meditation and writing meditation and that you’re familiar with the step-by-step, you might be thinking - why not use plain and simple meditation? Why bring writing into the mix?

There are several answers to that question. 

The first is that using writing as a meditation technique gives your mind something to focus on. When one first starts to meditate, the mind gets distracted very easily. Having something to do while meditating helps the mind stay focused. 

Don’t get us wrong, your mind will probably still wander off at times, so you’d do best to expect that, but having the writing to bring your mind back to is helpful. 

That’s why writing meditation is great for whoever is new to meditation. 

It’s also great because you get that feeling of having emptied your mind afterward. You’ve got everything down on paper, so it’s no longer in you, so its power has been taken away.

Writing meditation is also a fantastic way to hone your craft if you’re a writer or want to get into the habit of writing more.

Writing Prompt Ideas for Your Writing Meditation Practice

If you’re interested in the ‘stream of consciousness’ writing meditation tool and have decided you’d like to try some prompts, let us help you out. Please find below some prompt ideas to get you started. Try a different one every day this week and see how you fare.

  • Today, even though I shouldn’t, I feel…
  • The last time I felt genuinely joyful was…
  • Describe the sensation of your breath moving through your body. How does it feel, and where can you feel it?
  • My greatest desire right now…
  • Usually, the first thing I think about when I wake up is…
  • I’ve always wanted to…
  • Describe the sounds that you hear around you.

More on Meditation and Wellbeing

Before we conclude this article, there are a few other things we thought you might be interested in hearing about.  

Other ways to meditate 

Firstly, did you know that there are many other types of meditation than those mentioned in this article?

That’s because meditation is what you make it. 

Are you practicing mindfulness? Are you bringing your mind into the present moment? Are you focusing your thoughts? If so, then you are meditating, friend!

Here are some common ways to meditate:

  • Guided meditation - this type of meditation consists in listening to audio to guide you in your meditation. This might be through a meditation app, a Youtube video, or even a class. Someone will talk you through the meditation, instructing you on what to focus your mind on. These types of meditation are great for days when your mind is feeling a little scattered.
  • Running meditation - focusing on the sounds around you, what you can see, the feel of the ground beneath your feet, the sensation of your legs moving beneath you. You could also focus on your breath or repeat a mantra.
  • Walking meditation - there’s no destination with walking meditation. As the famous meditation master Thich Nhat Hanh says, “walking isn’t a means, but an end by itself”. He recommends walking as if you were the happiest person in the world.
  • Doing the dishes meditation - okay yes, we threw this one in here in a jokey way. But also to make the point that you really can turn any activity into a meditative practice. It’s true, picture it. You can do your usual thing of being stressed and trying to get the dishes done as quickly as possible. Or you can slow down, take your time and focus on the sensation of the warm, soapy water on your skin, relishing in watching the food scraps wither away under the stream of water. Which one sounds better?

Other writing practices for wellbeing

As well as meditation, there are other helpful well-being practices, including ones that involve mindfulness, as does meditation. Here are some of our favorites.

Mindful Eating

Mindful eating is a way to slow down when we’re eating in order to truly appreciate our food. The idea is to bring our attention to the flavors, smells, and food's warmth going down our throats and bellies. 

This practice is often recommended to those with certain eating disorders as it helps them bring their awareness to the eating process and slow down, which in turn would help them be more aware of their fullness cues. 


Yoga is not only great for the body in that it gets you moving, stretching, and strengthening, it’s also great for the mind as it is a mindful practice. 

The slow-paced nature of the movements keeps you in the present moment, and the slightly heightened level of difficulty ensures that your mind can only focus on what your body is doing. 


Did you know most of us don’t breathe correctly? Our breaths are shallow, and we don’t direct the air to the right places. Breathwork is the practice of conscious breathing, as it brings awareness to the breath so that we may breathe intentionally. 

Different patterns of breath can create different reactions in the body, which is what breathwork does. With the right breath, you can get your body more energized, your mind more focused, or even prepare yourself for diving into freezing water, as popularized by the famous Wim Hof Method.


How many times have you been reading a book, realized you have no idea what you just read, and had to go back three pages to re-read the passage? Reading is a true exercise in focus. 

Practicing getting in the zone can help you, in the same way as meditation, practice taming your mind to focus on the task at hand. In this case, getting through your book!

We could showcase many more practices here, but we think this will give you plenty to explore, so we will leave it at this for now.


We hope that you have found this article on writing meditation useful and that it answered any questions you had about the practice. Are you going to give writing meditation a go? We definitely recommend you try it. What have you got to lose? 

We encourage you to share this article on Twitter and Facebook. Just click those two links - you'll see why.

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Written By:
Carly Forsaith
Carly Forsaith is one of the lead freelance writers for WritingTips.org. Carly is a copywriter who has been writing about the English language for over 3 years. Before that, she was a teacher in Thailand, helping people learn English as a second language. She is a total grammar nerd and spends her time spotting language errors on signs and on the internet.

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